More than anyone else I know, I tend to have ups and down, slips and slides in my life. One week I will be a happy, confident, and on my game. I’ll feel like I’m on top of the world like I can do anything, make anything happen. Then, suddenly, I’ll slip into inaction, into comfort, into laziness and stagnation. This means that over and over I’ve had to recover from these down periods, which makes me somewhat of an expert (*cough* Yeah right! *cough*). Anywayyy, I hope that this can help some people!
I recently had this happen to me. A few weeks ago I was the happiest I have been in a long time and I was working out every day, eating well, drinking water, writing, reading, and really just hitting all the bullseyes. A few days later, I was staying up until four in the morning binging shows I had already seen, I was not working out at all, I was eating like shit, and I was being altogether pretty down in the dumps. I preferred to stay in bed all day with the curtains closed and the lights off than getting out into the world. Don’t get me wrong, I still would laugh at jokes on TV shows and have ideas about life, but it was off. It was like I was happily depressed. I don’t know if anyone else has experienced this, but it’s a doozy. Getting out of bed was hard and there was no motivation to get out of bed, but in reality, there was also no need to get out of bed, so it was fine. There was nothing pushing me and I had the free time to burn, so I did. I burned my time. For about two weeks, I didn’t accomplish anything, I watched way too much TV, I ate canned food; it was a mediocre life. All of a sudden, again, I realized what was going on and change hit me like a very fluffy and well-intentioned freight train.
Recently I decided to get my life back together. A friend of mine sent me an audiobook to listen to by a really talented life coach. I started listening to it and immediately recognized two important things:
So today, I’m going to talk about some ways that I use to get out of bed and back into the swing of things in life. In the future, I will write a post about some habits I have been using to stay active and accountable to my vision for my future! On that note, Way #1
This is the first step in any endeavor. Without a vision, there is nothing to work for, there is no purpose, no drive. So, the first step is to take a step back from everyday life and spend some time thinking about what is really important to us. For example, a few months ago I was experiencing one of my slouches in life. I was down in the dumps about life and myself and I was unhappy, self-conscious and full of anxiety – a veritable anxiety monster. So, what did I do to get out of it? I read a book titled Not Nice, by Aziz Gazipura. It’s a book about how we as humans tend to succumb to the pressures of society and the people around us – how we live because of the outside shoulds instead of the inside whys. Reading the book was challenging and made really internalize the fact that this life I am living is mine to make how I want. It helped me realize that I can set any vision for the future as long it is something that I authentically want. The book asked me the question: “What do you want?” I realized I that I don’t think about this question nearly enough and at that time, I didn’t actually have an answer. When it came down to it, I had no idea what I wanted. So, I found some paper and scribbled down some answers, I called my friends and family and consulted with them about what my dreams were when I was younger, and I did a lot of thinking, often emotional thinking. This process led me to find out that I do have dreams and visions inside and that I simply get distracted by the shoulds. How does one avoid the shoulds and work hard towards the whys? Realistically, there could be many many books written about this one, but for now… Check out #2.
The number of times I have said to myself “I don’t have the time or energy for that” or “I can’t do that, it’s too hard” is astoundingly high. I tend to convince myself that I can’t do something because I’m not in the right situation or because it’s too hard. This is something almost all of us do quite often. We are creatures of habit and when we habituate a reaction to challenges that tells us that we can’t beat those challenges, then we can’t. It’s as simple as this. What we think becomes reality. So, when I am in the dumps and when it’s hard to get out of bed, I remind myself that I am the captain of my ship, the director of my play, the king of my kingdom, and the master of my own destiny. This reminder helps me snap back to reality and remember that it’s up to me to make my life matter and make it what I want it to be. It also helps me internalize the fact the shoulds of life come from other people, who are the captains of their own ships, and that maybe the shoulds are good for them, but not for me. Another key thing to do when beginning the voyage as captain of our own lives is to get out of the house and stay out for as much of the day as is possible. Our spaces draw us in and make us comfortable. We have our nice blankets to curl up in, we have our snacks to binge on, and we have distractions out the wazzoo. On the other hand, when we are out of our houses, everything around us is an opportunity to engross ourselves in the present moment. This leads me to my next trick.
Many times when I am in a down period of my life, I tell myself things like: “I’ll do that tomorrow,” but as we all know, this almost always means… “I won’t ever do that.” The solution to this problem is to remember how wonderful our lives are and how our time is sparse. We have a limited number of todays to take advantage of. We will never have another opportunity to live today to the fullest… NEVER. Today is today and when it’s over, it’s gone forever. That’s just the truth. The other day, I blew my own mind when I was thinking about how much time each day I spend distracted by social media and TV. I realized that I watched about 2 hours of TV a day and was on social media for about an hour. This is 3 hours every day! Some days I would even spend way more time doing these things! I did some mental math and realized that three hours per day out of 24 hours every day meant I was spending about 1/8th of every day doing these things. This might sound okay, but then I realized, that if I spent 1/8th of my days this way, I was really spending 1/8th of my life this way. I was shocked and appalled with myself and the people around me. My life is more valuable than that. The average American male lives 77 years (wow young). 1/8th of 77 is about 9.5. If someone asked me, would you give away nine and a half years of your life for X, Y, or Z, chances are, I would say no! Almost 10 years of my life projected to be spent watching TV or going on social media. That’s just unreal to me. So, we must embrace today and spend the time we know we have available to us doing the things we really want to be doing, not falling into the habits of our addictions! We must embrace the harder things like reading and exercise and with time they will become normal. Be intentional, stay active, keep moving forward and remember that today is the only today ever and it’s completely up to us to make it what we want it to be. Every moment is an opportunity for intentionality.
I’m going to stop here for today. If you want to read my next post about this topic and others, click HERE!
Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day! Remember, get after it and live your life! Go listen to some funky toons and do some dancing!
If you have any tricks for dealing with this kind of stuff, send me an email! I would love to hear from people 🙂